Tune in here at 2PM (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on 12 March for the Male Sex Work in Australia research dissemination event.

Have a question or comment? Send a Tweet to @dentoncallander or an email to msw@unsw.edu.au.


Male sex work continues to undergo dramatic changes. We need research to improve our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that are relevant today. 

Sex and sex work have changed dramatically over the past few decades and the male sex industry is no exception.  Internet technologies have completely reshaped male sex work while new methods of HIV prevention continue to change how people think about 'safe' in terms of sex.  Change can bring opportunities but it can also bring challenges and our understanding of these challenges and opportunities for the buyers and sellers of male sex lags far-behind what is happening right now.  Data collection for this project is now complete.

A public event to share the findings and discuss their implications will be held at the ACON office on 12 March 2019 (2-4PM) and streamed live via this website.


An immersive study of male sex work in Australia


Data collection for this project is now complete. This study aimed to explore the challenges and opportunities facing male sex workers and their clients and, importantly, identify strategies for ensuring safe and satisfying sex work experiences.  

This was an ethnographic study, which simply means spending an extended period with a group of people to better understand their lives, perspectives and needs.  

There are two main components of this research: 

  1. In-depth interviews with male sex workers and sex work clients, and

  2. Field work in online and offline spaces for male sex work.

Interviews were a cornerstone of this project and they involved talking to buyers and sellers of male sex about their experiences with sex work, the negotiation of sex work, and their perceptions of particular topics, such as drug use and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  Interviews were also being conducted with people who are not sex workers but involved with the industry (such as brothel employees) to gain further insight into the modern settings for sex work in Australia.  

At all times during this project, participant identities are protected.  This means that the things learned during this project cannot be linked back to individuals.  To learn more about how this project protects the identities of all participants, please visit the FAQ section.    



Dr Denton Callander
Research Fellow, Kirby Institute

Professor Basil Donovan
Program Head, Kirby Institute

Professor Victor Minichiello
Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University

Research Partners

This project is a collaboration between the Kirby Institute (UNSW Sydney), the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (La Trobe University), The Sex Workers Outreach Project NSW (SWOP NSW) and the Scarlet Alliance.  Funding for this research is provided by a grant from the Australian Research Council.